Tuesday, March 02, 2010


Late at night, right around the witching hour, and I’m lying on the couch, watching “My Name is Earl” re-runs, eating something called “Death by Chocolate” directly out of the box. That’s only because I’m a courteous guy and don’t see the need to dirty up an ice cream bowl that would have to be washed. That’s how I roll.

I only wanted a few bites, but after I laid down here and covered up with a blanket the cat got up on my hip, like she always does, and if I disturb her to return this thing to the freezer she’s going to be really ticked. Also, I didn’t notice, until I had consumed the delicious treat, but it’s really cold in here. If I just set it over there on the reachable turtle ottoman, it’s going to melt. It appears that, in the interest of those starving children in China my mom used to tell me about, I’m going to have to eat the whole thing. Couldn’t be more than a quart, I guess. I’m sure it says how big it is, somewhere on here, but in order to read it I’d have to get up to turn on the light. You see my dilemma.

“Death by Chocolate” seems, at least at the moment, to be an appropriate name, but maybe not the best one from an advertising perspective. I mean, if they named a bacon cheeseburger “The Angioplasy”, I might think twice about eating it. I’d probably pass up “Gasping for Breath” cigarettes for something with a more cheerful name…like, I dunno, “ChickMagnet”. You gotta wonder if they pay somebody big bucks to think up these names for them. I could do that. If the cat would let me up to get a note pad.

Speaking (or writing, as it were) of cigarettes, Earl just lit one while Joy was spraying her hair and the fumes ignited and toasted them both pretty good. Then he yelled to Randy to come see, because they looked like a cartoon. Now Joy’s not going to make it to her spokes-modeling job, where she’s supposed to get paid with a hot tub. So Earl’s gotta add getting a hot tub for Joy to his list. Poor guy. It never ends for him.

Getting paid with a hot tub is a pretty good deal. This girl here on this commercial is going to get paid in gum for babysitting. See, that doesn’t sound like a good deal to me, although everybody else on the commercial seems pretty excited about it. But, if the gum was called something like “Root Canal”, it might not be so appealing.

Once, when I was a kid, a bunch of us loaded and hauled hay from that big field down under the viaduct in the hot summer for another kid’s grandpa, thinking we’d get some spending money to take to the movies. When we were finished, he took us out to the

Tastee Freeze on Hwy. 25 and bought us all the ice cream we could eat. They didn’t have “Death by Chocolate” back in those days. It was just plain ol’ vanilla, as I recall. If they would have had it, it might actually have killed us all, and then, they’d really have something to base that ad campaign on. Sitting in pools of our own sweat on the back of that flatbed truck, in 100+ degree heat, you might be surprised to learn, a kid can’t really eat too much ice cream before he gets sick and doesn’t want any more ice cream. They should have called it “Sick by Vanilla”.

But somehow I think grandpa knew that. And he didn’t even have, I can only assume, the advantage of laying on the couch at night, eating stuff to keep it from going bad, watching commercials about somebody clipping the babysitter out of a night’s pay. He just thought it up all on his own.

There! Finished that box before they got to the unappetizing part about Joy’s swollen big toe. I hope those kids in China appreciate my sacrifice.

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© 2010, Rick Baber

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